Photoshop: Ability to update/edit brush presets

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This is a no-brainer that should make its way ASAP into 13.

Provide users with a way of tweaking their brush settings and then SAVING OVER an existing brush preset, rather than having to create a new one.

The brush preset system that has been in place since 5 is a broken user experience. You always create a "throwaway" brush (tip) when you Define Brush Preset, and then you customize its settings and create a New Brush. Then, if you don't like those settings and want to improve them, you are stuck having to create yet another brush preset, and eventually deleting the others.

Come on guys, we need something just a little more polished. It's been over ten years now. Fix some basic stuff before launching into crazy new directions like 3D.

For the most intuitive user experience, the workflow should be revised.

Creating brushes should be a two-step process:
1. create a "brush tip" - these are the sampled pixels only, with no Brush configuration data attached
2. create a "brush" - by selecting a brush tip and then setting your options.

If you then want to edit an existing preset and save over it, why not present us with familiar options like Save and Save As? Put a little "save" icon and a "clone" icon in the Brushes palette. Let us know when we're editing an existing brush preset, and put the title of the brush preset in the palette. Basic basic stuff.
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Tom Auger

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Posted 8 years ago

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Ahren Paulson

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Agreed wholeheartedly. Just spent 20 minutes beating my brain against this cumbersome interface.
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PECourtejoie, Champion

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Don't forget about that you can also create a Tool Preset, that will store blending modes, color, etc. :D
I'd like also to see some revision about presets.
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Rachel Udin

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I would put the brushes option on the panel where it says "Save Brush Preset." So we can create the spacing etc on the fly and of course I support the cloning idea.

This would be sweet to have with the organization schema so we can do this with the brushes palette rather than a preset organizer in a separate window. ('cause if you get the brush wrong, you have to open the window again.)
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kingofzombies

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I have been hoping for this to be implemented for years. Corel Painter already has this function and it makes painting much faster!
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laden m

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i would like to have this option too.
i just searched for it and found out that it doesn't exist?

please adobe! this should be a simple one.
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atharil

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ahah! +1 for the useless 3D
the presets windows are prehistoric, we can't do anything, can't tidy up anything.

That's something sooooooooooooooooo simple that I can't imagine it is not on a software like Photoshop...I mean.. many years of existence... massively used by professionals.... but it is, yes. Along with many other tiny things MORE important than "not well implemented" 3D and shiny stuff.
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Chris Cox

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You can change the presets, and rearrange them as much as you'd like. And you can change the view of the presets. But the preset lists are just lists of the presets that you chose to load.
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atharil

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Ok, we already know all that, cause it's the same for years.
But the title of this request says clearly "update/edit" brush presets.

What the point of posting requests if Adobe doesn't try to understand / read them?
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Tom Auger

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@atharil - that happens all the time. I'm not sure whether Adobe actually takes these things seriously - but I guess the only way to really make sure is to post / promote these requests through your social network and get more comments and votes. For example, this request only has +7 votes, which is silly when you think of it: how many regular Photoshop users (professionals) would vote for this request if they knew it existed? All of them!
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Chris Cox

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We read and listen to all requests. But we have to prioritize, and not all requests are possible, or even good ideas.
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Yan Cowles

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This one is though, Painter does it already.
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Ahren Paulson

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And so does clip studio paint...
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dong pn

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yes adobe should make Ps easy to use,save time,
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Tom Auger

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I can't believe the status of this item is "Not Planned"!

It's such a minor thing, with so many possible solutions.

Don't you wish Photoshop were open source? Heck, I'd write the darned patch myself. They keep working on "big picture" marquee features, instead of making our daily work tool more ergonomic and efficient.

I don't know why I keep giving Adobe my monthly CC subscription. They just don't seem to listen to their users.
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Chris Cox

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It is not a minor thing.
Presets (like brushes) are settings you save (not modify, hence the term "pre-set"), which have an identity that can be referenced by actions, scripts, and the rest of the preset management code. If you modify them, then the action or script cannot reproduce it's effect because the preset has changed out from under the script. Because you copy from the preset to the active tool settings, there is no real "current" preset to save back to (even though we highlight the last selected preset as a convenience) - you would always be saving a new preset.
There are more complications under the hood, because the implementation is more complex than you seem to realize (this is not a bad thing, it just means that we make a lot of complicated stuff easy to use).

Most of the workflow you describe in the original post is already in Photoshop, except for the "modify an existing preset" part. Yes, you might end up creating 2 brush presets while creating a new tip and settings. That is because the tip and the brush don't exist independently -- and making them completely independent would make the brush UI much more complex - we looked at doing that several years ago.

We listen to the feature requests, but sometimes the requested ideas just don't match the reality we have to work with, or the request doesn't take into account the features that already exist.
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atharil

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'It is not a minor thing. '
>> compared to the new perspective tool, it is

"Presets (like brushes) are settings you save (not modify, hence the term "pre-set"), "
>> I don't understand the point of playing with words. In many other software, presets can be modified and they still call them presets.

"which have an identity that can be referenced by actions, scripts, and the rest of the preset management code. If you modify them, then the action or script cannot reproduce it's effect because the preset has changed out from under the script. Because you copy from the preset to the active tool settings, there is no real "current" preset to save back to (even though we highlight the last selected preset as a convenience) - you would always be saving a new preset.
There are more complications under the hood, because the implementation is more complex than you seem to realize (this is not a bad thing, it just means that we make a lot of complicated stuff easy to use). "
>> I don't see here any complication. The users still modify presets, but in a painful manner, so all these users would have had these problems you describe. I never heard of them neither had one myself ( And I use/make actions and scripts )

"Most of the workflow you describe in the original post is already in Photoshop, except for the "modify an existing preset" part. Yes, you might end up creating 2 brush presets while creating a new tip and settings. That is because the tip and the brush don't exist independently -- and making them completely independent would make the brush UI much more complex - we looked at doing that several years ago. "
>>yeah, most of the workflow but not the "update/modify" part, which is indeed the title of this request. I don't understand the second part, seems unrelated to me (?)

"We listen to the feature requests, but sometimes the requested ideas just don't match the reality we have to work with, or the request doesn't take into account the features that already exist."
>>Again, since ALL the user ( I mean users that really use brushes ) want this, I don't really understand where exactly it doesn't match the reality ?
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Rachel Udin

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It's a UX problem and Chris, correct me if I'm wrong, but you don't seem to be in UX and don't seem to be interested in UX solutions so I'll give you the solution for what you presented, free of charge. I know UX very well since I do that sort of thing professionally...

If you take the preset organization idea, with the folders, redundant brushes are not an issue--they are saved into folders. That gets rid of your organization problem. Ask how and why--see how other programs do it--defer the costs to Adobe--you should have your competitor programs up in your offices anyway. (Marketing, anyone?)

You are thinking about eliminating menus. Don't do it. Keep it redundant the Jakob Neilsen way. He has a free website to UX issues. Redundancy is good, keep it , get the user acclimated, then eliminate the redundancy later on as needed. (It's under how to build a game theory in the UX world... you get the user acclimated before making it harder for them.)

Other UX you can read: : http://www.joelonsoftware.com/uibook/... (programmer for you)

I also suggest instead of refuting from the outset using the users here who come from many walks of life to solve the issues for you--maybe they can pound out a simpler implementation than you are thinking in your head (The programmers I know tend to complicate solutions). They use the program, sometimes every day, they might understand how it works better than you think. Programmers, website designers, website programmers also use Photoshop.

Doesn't Adobe have UX people on its team....? If you don't you should. Because your complaint is a UX problem, not a programming one. Have them write replies to what you perceive to be UX issues. Anthropologists and Sociologists are prime for this.
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Chris Cox

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It is not a UX problem at all, it is a basic logic problem. The idea does not work for multiple reasons, which I have tried to simplify here (the details are too complex to easily write down). Yes, if you don't understand the problem, a really simplistic solution would be to update the presets -- which sounds great if you have absolutely no idea what is really involved. But it's a lot like saying that you can breathe on the moon because you can breathe on Earth and don't think it is any different from driving across town. Pursuing that could end up costing you a lot of time and effort for an end result that you most certainly don't want.

And yes, I am quite familiar with UX/UI design principles (and read Joel's books/blog as well).

Yes, we have a UX team and UI designers -- but they do know that many of their "pie in the sky" ideas have to face reality, and that sometimes the details are a lot more complicated than they realize from the outside.

But I do know more about the issues, the designs, and how the presets and tools work -- and am trying to tell you that this idea has serious flaws. Even if you think about the basics of how brushes and presets work in Photoshop, you should see that this idea cannot work well.
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atharil

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Then, which reasons? I'm curious now.
You mean it's programming reasons, right? Something like it's hard because the code has not been done that way? Cause I can't see anything else logical.
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Chris Cox

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Again, logical reasons - like the brush identity would not longer be accurate, unique, or useful if you could change the contents of the brush preset after creating it. (it would be like changing out the house at a given address every 30 minutes)
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Tom Auger

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No, it would be like changing a Paragraph Style or Character Style definition, which is an extremely common use case. Users understand that changing a preset will likely affect any other function or tool that leverages that preset. If I have an action which uses a preset brush that I created and then I run that action after modifying the preset, I should bloody well hope that the action changes its behaviour as a result.

If you're really concerned about preserving the integrity of some of the "default" actions, then you can "lock" some of the default brushes as well. But user-created brushes should be allowed to be modified.
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atharil

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But still, again, we can already change the contents of the brush preset ( it's just that it is much harder than what it should be ) so your logical reason is irrelevant.
I'm still waiting for a true reason.
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Chris Cox

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This has nothing to do with the defaults (not sure where you got that). Again, you really seem to be missing quite a bit of the functionality and details about how presets work in Photoshop.

No, you cannot change a brush preset. You can create a new preset with new settings, but you cannot change a preset after it has been created. Again, that is by design.
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Matt Denton

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Just want to add to the chorus that this should very much be a feature. It can't possibly be that complicated to code. It's a dumb system and should be improved. I'm amazed that it was brought up 4 years ago and has yet to get any response. I'm also amazed that anyone would defend Adobe not fixing this issue.

AH well.. Off to go create a new brush preset that slightly modifies an existing brush and then deleting the old brush and then going into preset manager so that I can drag and drop the brush where I usually keep it on the grid.

Because obviously who would want to be able to just move the brushes whenever we want? That extra preset manager is so handy!
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Matt Denton

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I'd take the fix Tom suggestion over a complete overhaul, but it really does need a complete overhaul. It's barely improved from how it worked a decade ago.
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Rachel Udin

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Programs are more than new shiny features. They are about being able to meet the expectations of the end user and make it more efficient to use.

For example, when Photoshop made it so you didn't have to double click a layer, which opened a dialogue box and then click enter to rename it, that feature got a ton of cheers, because it was a routine thing. The fact that Photoshop plans on not making this application more user friendly in this manner where you don't have to go through an extra dialogue box to do similar functions saddens me.

To me, it's the same kind of effect that you guys got when you redid the layers naming process to be just a simple click. Sometimes the UX things get more cheers than the brand new shinies. Sometimes fixing an old bug or giving simple organization, or reducing the amount of clicks i.e. UX gets more cheers than coming up with a new doodad.

Brushes are part of the user's every day function--it's a basic component of Photoshop--it came out with version 1. So why not pay attention to the UX? And why not pay attention to your major competitors who are ahead in that fashion and have done it anyway?

Sometimes improving basic functions makes life easier. Brushes is one of them.
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Tom Auger

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Brilliant comment. I couldn't have said better myself. The fact is, that a new feature opens up new possibilities for us users, and some may turn into valuable parts of our workflow, while others will never make it in there (3D is such an example for me - I'll just use Maya or Rhino if I want 3D).

However, improvement to core workflow features benefit everyone, and translate instantly into $$ for the end user (in an industry where time == money). It's also the little things that let loyal users (I've been using Photoshop since it was called "Fast Eddie") know that Adobe is looking out for them, that you have their interests at heart, and that Adobe is always looking for ways to make things a little bit better. These things have a huge impact, even though they don't make the headlines.
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Chris Cox

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We constantly update the UI to improve efficiency. But sometimes things that you think might improve your efficiency would actually complicate the UI, or cause problems for other users that you don't realize.

We have to take all the users, all the functions, and all the issues into account before changing the functionality of Photoshop (and still sometimes get it wrong).

Just because we say that one particular request is not a good idea (or sometimes not even possible) does not mean that we are not listening to requests, or not implementing other requests and improvements.
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Rachel Udin

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But you, personally, Chris as a senior computer scientist representative of Adobe spend a lot of time on these boards saying, "it's too hard, we can't, we know better." and "We do so much for you, what do you want anyway." I know programmers--I'm related to a few, so I understand where you are coming from. But your priorities seem to be towards programming not UX, making me wonder if you took any UX classes. (Website designers have to worry about it professionally all the time... Steve Jobs was a UX master, BTW.)

Ask questions. Ask how the user would implement it, present the whole problem--there are programmers, UX people, Website designers, artists and photoshop users among you. Don't say it's hard work and what do you want from us?

Because UX is functionality. It's not a minor thing. It's workflow, it's time management. Shinies are fun to program--I get it, but it doesn't always make the user happier. (That's why it's called User Experience, not programmer experience.)
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Chris Cox

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I never said it was hard - it is just too logically flawed, because it is based on a lack of knowledge of how things actually work (thinking things are MUCH simpler than they really are, or that the complications don't have a reason for existing).

Users can imagine many things that are impossible. That does not mean that we should spend our time implementing the impossible. Sometimes we have to tell the user "no, this does not work.", and move on to better ideas.
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Ahren Paulson

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Could you give us an actual example of what would happen if a preset were modified in the way we're asking? What would/could be broken by this?

Suppose we were starting with a basic round brush and wanted to change one setting and save over it.
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Chris Cox

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The most obvious problem is that actions, scripts and other automation that refer to that brush would not work as expected (if they didn't fail outright). The less obvious is that your brush and tool preferences wouldn't get saved and loaded correctly (not sure if this would cause error messages, or just not work).
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Tom Auger

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What scripts or actions or other automation exists that refers to a brush preset? Most actions deal with global operations, not stroke-based operations - heck, I'm not even sure whether the actions engine can record brush strokes! At any rate, like I mention in an earlier comment, if you're worried about default brushes getting modified, lock them. But allow user-created brushes to be modified.

Further, I'm curious as to how a script or action might fail as a result of a brush preset change. You say "fail" as in program error, or abort script, right? I can't imagine a scenario where the script fails outright - to the point where it would be problematic from a programming and/or UX perspective. I could see the script or action not producing the visual results it was originally created to produce, but as in failing, I really don't see it.

Why so much negativity anyway? Is it really hard to acknowledge that this is a minor area of the Photoshop user experience that could be improved and is long overdue.
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Ahren Paulson

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Are those the only concerns?

Saving or loading brushes doesn't seem to be that big of an issue to code around. It already does all of this, it just gives a variation on current behavior.

The actions issue seems legitimate, but even then I think I'd prefer to get a warning message if I'm modifying a tool that's part of a recorded action and be given the option to proceed. Any actions I use are global in nature; I can't even think of a scenario (as an illustrator) where I would script actual brush behavior.
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Chris Cox

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This is not a minor area - you just seem to think that this is a much simpler problem than it really is. "Go to moon, pick up rock. How hard can that be?"
Someone who does know the details and has spent a lot of time thinking through the issues and dealing with the presets is telling you that it is not so simple and that your proposal is not a good idea.
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Ahren Paulson

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I'm a C# .NET programmer. That's my day job. Please assume that I'll understand deeper technical speak.

I'm not trying to be combative, I'm genuinely curious what the technical and logical limitations are.

Could you go into more detail, from a programmer's perspective, about why this isn't feasible?
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Chris Cox

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Imagine you had an object referenced by pointer, and some other process was constantly changing the contents of that object at the same time that several other threads were using that pointer, or deleting the object while others were using it - bad things would happen, or at least unexpected and very difficult to explain things.

It would take days to explain all the details.

The brushes (and most other presets) have a unique ID for a reason. They are immutable for a reason. You shouldn't go changing out the contents of them for a reason.
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Tom Auger

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that's an interesting perspective. However, I can't imagine a scenario where you might be running an action or a script while simultaneously updating the brush preset - in fact, I'm not even sure that the current implementation allows this sort of activity. Maybe in a "droplet" scenario (not sure PS still supports droplets, but anyway I'm reaching here).

Anyway, and you are welcome to differ, but I think that particular technical line of reasoning is a wash. it's much more likely that the underlying architecture of the Presets (or at least the Brushes presets) was simply not built in a way that would allow this kind of modification, and it would be too much work to completely refactor that code. In all likelihood, the developer(s) responsible for the original implementation of Presets is no longer available to work on that component, and it's just not economically viable to ramp up someone else to refactor that section. That may feel like it's a less attractive answer from a marketing and PR perspective, but my guess is that's closer to the truth. Truth is good. Trying to baffle brains with BS, not so good, at least from where I'm sitting.
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Chris Cox

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It was built a certain way for good reasons, that have not changed.
You've already gotten the truth, even if you don't like the answer.
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Ahren Paulson

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Thanks for taking the time to explain that Chris, that's pretty much what I imagined the issue would be. I wonder if using transitional versions of presets under the hood would be a way to do this, but without knowing the code I'm just guessing at high level ways to do this.

I don't think there's much more to say, but I do think that Adobe may be underestimating the value of a smoother workflow, especially given some of the new market competition out there.
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Chris Cox

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Well, we're constantly trying to improve the workflow (including brushes). But sometimes what we do is more complex than users realize - and we just cannot do things the way they imagine.
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The Cheshire Catalyst

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Krita manages to do it....
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Grant

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Overwrite Saved Presets.

Sometimes I have to change a preset. It would be nice to be able to just overwrite an existing preset. Right now it just says "Preset already exists" with no option to overwrite. And if I create a new preset, i can't change the order, and I need order in my list! : ) Thanks.
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asdasd asdasd

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yes please, this is one of the things that forced me to switch to manga studio for most of my work.  whenever i want to make a small tweak to a brush in PS and keep its hotkey, i need to:

1 - Make the change to my brush and create a whole new brush preset
2 - Check the name of the original brush and type it in for the new preset
3 - Delete the old version of the brush so my hotkeyed brush selection action selects the new one properly based on the same name and there being no duplicates, so that way i dont need to re record an action for it
4 - Open brush manager to move the new brush from the end of the brush list (where new ones are put) to where it belongs in my organized list where i use blank presets called "---------------" as separators because i need too many brushes
5 - Play around abit with the new hotkeyed brush and realize it needs more tweaking, do the tweaks, and when its just right i accidently switch tool to momentarily erase or something before making a new preset out of that perfect new brush setting, so the ideal changes are lost because brushes dont remember modifications (there is no option for them to do so, like lock/unlock a brush maybe), changing tool and reselecting brush always resets the changes
6 - repeat


compared to manga studio:
1 - got a nice hotkeyed brush that i want to make changes to
2 - press "unlock tool" (so the changes to the tool automaticaly save)
3 - make changes to brush, draw abit, erase abit, looks good,  hit "lock tool", done
(or duplicate the original to iterate nondestrutively, then unlock the duplicate, make changes to it, this new brush will have the same hotkey as the original, and you can just change it to a new hotkey if want. per brush, no need to make actions to select brushes via hotkeys and re-record those actions if you rename a brush or have duplicate name. each brush gets a new hotkey line in the options for its name.

There is alot more simple workflow speed problems with PS than that compared to manga studio etc, and some simple functions that i find hard to believe that something big as PS cant do yet (for example multi layer freetransform/warp of selected partial area without multistep workarounds), but alot of them can be worked around with clever autohotkey and such, but the brush problem is way too complex to automate, for me anyway
(Edited)
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Tom Auger

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Just noticed this in the Photoshop CC.2018 October update notes:

Better brush organization
Organize and save your brushes in the order you want. Drag and drop to reorder, create folders and sub-folders, scale the brush stroke preview, toggle new view modes, and save brush presets with opacity, flow, blend mode, and color.

Could it be?
(Edited)
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Tom Auger

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It's a beautiful thing. Almost verbatim what I suggested 6 years ago (wow, that long?) but even better. Pretty sweet.
(Edited)
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Charles Cronley

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And yet, you still can't edit and update existing brushes in a custom set.
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Charles Cronley

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Photoshop: Ability to edit existing brushes in a set.

Why can't the user edit brushes already existing in a set? I have a set I've been using for years and wish I could change the brush settings individually without having to recreate the entire set. Am I missing something here? As I understand it, once you've made and pasted a new brush in a set, you can't tweak a settting without creating a new brush, deleting the old one and moving the new one in its place. I'd be glad to be proven wrong and show me how.
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Rob Gibson

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I've just started to use Photoshop and I'm constantly trying to tweak my presets as I learn but instead of tweaking them I have to recreate them and remember all the settings I set in the first place.  
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Dermot Power

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I use brushbox to sort brushes in to various categories - which is preferable to the native version.  
 But I would love an 'update brush preset' button and a way to save a set of brush settings to apply to newly created brushes. I have lots of brushes created from images that share the same spacing, dynamics etc.  Would be good to have an 'apply saved set' to new brush option. 
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Mike Gondek

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I created a nice set for spider web brushes, but with the inverse colors I need. >.< Would be nice to doubleclick on a brush, make edits (eg: invert) and save, as on library items.

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Michael Madsen

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Couldn't agree more - much needed feature - its so frustrating having to make a NEW BRUSH everytime you change a setting in a custom brush. Just like we can update layercomps ? Come on Adobe - we got the new brush preset manager - this needs a serious overhaul. 
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Kate Tucker

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8 years later and here we are, still waiting on the most basic of functionalities.  
(Edited)
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Ross Dearsley

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Hi, I would love a way to visually tag favourite Brush presets, much like the way we can already select colours to tag a Layer or Layer Group.  I really like Kyles brush groups and it would be awesome to tag my favourites wiithin these groups rather than duplicating them into a custom Brush Preset folder.  I created a visual to illustrate the idea:


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Mikey Mike

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FYI you can accomplish all that using existing MagicSquire brush panel, it does have Update button :-) (in addition to 1000 other features) 




works pretty fast on PS CC 2019 and my old Dell laptop